Avonex® is an interferon beta-1a immune system modulator with antiviral properties.
Self-injected into muscle.
Relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis in adults, including clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting MS, and active secondary-progressive MS
Over two years, Avonex®:
- Reduced relapses by 32% compared with placebo.
- 78% of people taking Avonex had no increase in disability, compared with 65% of people taking placebo.
- On MRI, Avonex reduced the number of gadolinium-enhanced (Gd+) lesions by 75%.
Common Potential Side Effects
Flu-like symptoms, upper respiratory infection, white blood cell count and liver test abnormalities.
For assistance finding additional resources that might help cover the costs of your prescription, contact MSAA.
HOW Avonex® WORKS
Avonex® is a self-administered weekly injection of a group of proteins called interferon beta-1a. Interferon beta-1a is also naturally produced by the body to help fight viruses. This disease-modifying therapy is thought to help decrease inflammation that can cause MS flare-ups by helping to control immune system activities.
Avonex® was FDA-approved in 1996 to treat relapsing forms of MS, including clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary-progressive disease, in adults.
Potential Side Effects
Flu-like symptoms and headache, upper respiratory infection (e.g., common cold), sinusitis, Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), white blood count and liver test abnormalities. Side effects are usually temporary and manageable. Rare adverse events include depression, problems with white blood cell count, thyroid problems, seizures and liver damage.
OTHER KEY INFORMATION
Testing completed prior to starting Avonex®:
- Complete blood and differential white blood cell counts
- Blood chemistry panel including liver function tests
- Thyroid function tests
Testing after starting Avonex®:
- Liver enzymes
- Test number of red blood cells and white blood cells.
- Monitor possible development of neutralizing antibodies.
Patient advocates talk about
their treatment experience
Kristie Salerno Kent“I have had situations where treatments aren’t approved at first. My doctors, nurses, they go actually go to bat for me and made it happen.”
Azure Antoinette“I wish would have had access or agency to get seen sooner and to treat this sooner.”
Damian Washington“Nobody’s going to be looking out for your best interests better than you.”
Cathy Chester“I think it’s really important to talk about how to age with this illness.”
Lauren Hutton-Work“Just because you have this disease does not mean that your work life should be awkward or uncomfortable.”
Chernise Joseph“My first neurologist was a frontline neurologist, he wasn’t an MS specialist.”
Julian Gamboa“If you’re newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis remember it’s always okay to get a second opinion.”
Sam and Lauren Alcorn“Our future is uncertain and we have to enjoy each other and love each other in the present.”
Shawn Feliciano“I want to know what medications might work best for someone who’s Hispanic.”
Darlene Feigen“The sooner you get on a therapy the better it is in the long run.”
Birgit Bauer“At the end of the appointment you should have an answer to the most important questions.”
Ellen Tutton“I looked up all the different disease modifying therapies and compared them to my lifestyle.”
Victoria Marie Reese“I’m trying to show my daughter that taking care of yourself is cool.”